Korean expats in America saving dogs an inch at a time

Korean expats in America saving dogs an inch at a time
Veterinarian Steve Ganton poses with Inch after his relocation to Canada.

Team Inch, the organisation responsible for relocating them, was set up in 2013 by likeminded foreigners and Koreans who all shared a love for sighthounds ― a family of dogs that includes greyhounds and whippets.

The volunteer-run project started when a group of people banded together to save an abandoned greyhound named Inch.

Inch was covered in scars and weighed only half of what he now weighs in his new Canadian home with his "mother" and one of the founding members of Team Inch, Samara Schmidt.

"Sighthounds face essentially the same problems many dogs face in Korea; because they are most often larger dogs, it is very difficult for them to find homes in Korea as most people live in small quarters or apartments," Schmidt said.

"Additionally, the greyhound racing industry ... in Korea provides many challenges in itself during and when their careers are over."

Team Inch relies on volunteers to assist by paying for the abandoned dogs' veterinary fees and travel costs to help find them a home in North America. This can prove to be very costly as sighthounds need to be transported as "live cargo" due to their size.

Schmidt says this can often cost upward of $1,500 per dog.

In addition, because of the living conditions the dogs have previously endured, many of them have contracted heartworm, which is also very expensive to treat.

Schmidt says the organisation works to find individual solutions for each dog.

"Currently we have a whippet named Courage whom we are trying to save after he was hit by a car and nearly killed. His treatment and expenses will need to be paid for by donations from our supporters," Schmidt explained.

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